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The Value of Nothing

The Value of Nothing [Kindle Edition]

Raj Patel
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
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Product Description


`A penetrating and admirably concise guide to the follies of market fundamentalism' - John Gray, Observer --Review

'Patel reveals the distorted prices and compromised values at the heart of contemporary society' - GQ --Review

`Patel combines sociology and neuroeconomics to ask the most fundamental question of the season: why do things cost what they do?' - Prospect

Product Description

A short, sharp and stimulating book that responds to the global economic crisis by assessing the issue of value, which underlies every commercial transaction we make, in boom and in bust.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 859 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Portobello Books (1 Feb 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0037UAC62
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #372,980 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful 14 Dec 2009
I don't normally write reviews, but I bought this book after reading the book-of-the-week review in The Observer, and after reading it in one sitting, felt I had to write.

I thought I knew a lot about why the financial crisis happened, but Patel manages to sum it up quickly, entertainingly and cleverly. There were lots of bits where I found myself giggling, or saying 'wow' - like the bit about Antons Blindness, where people believe they can see but actually can't, or the discussion of how nuts 'carbon trading' is. He's got lots of great insights into why we got here, but what that this book has that others don't is what we can do to fix things.

Patel talks about 'the commons' - the idea that won the nobel economics prize this year - and he shows how we can't really carry on with the way things are at the moment. There are loads of inspirational stories from around the world, and although it doesn't seem like shackdwellers in South Africa have much in common with us, I reckon we're much closer than people think.

Definitely recommend this book. It doesn't have all the solutions to today's economic collapse, but it has all the right questions.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vital work on saving the idea of democracy 1 May 2010
This book is a whirlwind text on how to roll back the power of markets, use them for the good of society and redefine what we mean by democracy. I'd like to think of it as a very good anarchist manifesto without explicitly calling itself that. It has some great ideas on deliberative politics, very realistic ideas, and highlights some inspirational movements from around the globe. Read it. Now.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Capitalism has become a monstrosity 16 Feb 2010
By J. Hole
This gives a very entertaining survey of how we have all been caught up in this "faith in the market" and its unrealistic and fatally inappropriate values
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I have no idea which 'book' the reviewers on here have been reading (or whether they can actually read as I have obviously been subjected to a different 'book').

This 'book' is a list of incoherent, rambling scenarios that have little connection to each other, let alone the title.

Raj Patel is clearly neither a writer nor an economist. This individual has got away with having a'book' published as a result of pop publishers being willing to publish anything.

This 'book' would have a higher value through if the value of electronic paper could be considered. If I could give this 'book' -5 stars I would. It is utter nonsense.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stimulates thinking and evaluating 11 Feb 2011
By Doris E. Reichert - Published on
Some good points in the book but I do not agree with everything he writes.
Oh yes I would give the book to my Grandchild and then start to discuss about it.
I find the book has too many examples,"verzettelt" therefore a bit confusing, and too one-sided to prove his point.
Overall: Too much to the left, yet a good and valuable book to read.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Read 3 April 2010
By Graham White - Published on
I watched the author speak about this book on a morning Canadian TV show and it sounded interesting, so I bought it. In the interview he mentioned how a Big Mac, after adding in all the hidden costs relating to the energy and pollution costs from cow to table, is actually around $200. This part is covered in a few short pages in the book. He mentions that "Pesticide contamination, nutrient runoff and greenhouse gas emissions are compounding the environmental debt of industrialised agriculture" and I agree. This argument is expanded on somewhat. He tells the interesting story of the Volkswagen share price defying gravity during the recent economic meltdown, causing short sellers to panic and endure great losses. However,in its entirity the book is far too academic and philosophical for the average reader, in my opinion. It does make some interesting points but takes too long to make many of them.
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